13 March 2010

Canada Leads the Way in Ethics

I recently came across something at a nifty blog called, “The Agnostic.” The Canadian Army, it seems, has published an "ethics guide." It’s about time—those barbaric Canadian troops have been running helter-skelter for too long, terrorizing humanity the world over.

If you can sense the sarcasm, it's because I'm not sure if the Canadian Army has taken a major role in any significant operation since the time when soldiers could actually fight without a platoon of lawyers on either flank.

But to my main point: The ethics guide, which you can read about here, states that "detainees must be treated with dignity and respect. Sleep deprivation to soften someone up for interrogation is as unacceptable as physical assault."

What? Detainees are afforded more respect and greater freedom from abuse by the Canadians than even United States Soldiers?

At Basic Training, I was frequently subjected to sleep deprivation as a means of teaching third parties how to make bunks with tighter corners.

In fact, near the end of my BCT session, we were ordered to pull a fire guard shift with half of the platoon at a time for half the night. I got about two hours sleep that night, after a full day in the peak of summer temperatures.

Our fearsome friends to the north also "caution against verbal abuse, such as referring to enemies with dehumanizing labels, on grounds that will escalate to physical abuse."

As a Soldier in good standing, I have been subjected to verbal abuse countless times, and have witnessed NCOs physically abuse privates (there is no double entendre, there, perverts).

Is this analogous to police officers having to experience the taser before being authorized to use it? Once we are deprived of sleep, can we then make terrorists stay awake just a little while longer until they give up their buddy with the bomb control?

I'm all for ethics in the Army, but maybe with a little perspective, the Canadians will realize that servicemembers across the free world might violate such unrealistic "ethical standards" before even coming into contact with the enemy.

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